This case raises the difficult question of how to deal with the stain of racial restrictive covenants that have long been rendered unenforceable and illegal but remain in the property records. Petitioner is seeking to have such an offending covenant physically removed from the public records relating to his real property under authority of former Washington statute RCW 49.60.227 (2018). Since Petitioner has begun this quest, the legislature amended RCW 49.60.227 to provide a more detailed procedure to address the remnants of racism in property records, but this new procedure does not afford Petitioner the remedy that he sought under the former statute. The goal of this brief is not to set forth the shameful history of these covenants or their lasting and devastating effects, but rather to assist the Court by providing information about the role of property records and the feasibility and advantages of Petitioner’s request for physical removal.
Karen Boxx and Greg Hicks, Amicus Curiae Brief of Professors Karen Boxx and Gregory Hicks, May v. County of Spokane, 199 Wash.2d 389 (2022) (No. 99598-2) (2021), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-court-briefs/66